Margaret Tran puts her majors in environmental studies and economics to practical use as program coordinator for the group EARTH, which organizes student efforts in recycling and sustainability. One project is a campus garden that provides area food pantries with seasonal produce; she also oversees local food coordination for the student advocacy group Environs. The Derby senior, a National Merit Scholar, also writes and performs for the rock band Random Rain.


A Summerfield Scholar and senior in political science and journalism, Devin Lowell of Concordia returned in January from an Alternative Break in New Orleans, where he helped rebuild a hurricane-damaged house. Two Study Abroad sessions in the United Kingdom honed his interest in international issues, one topic for the University Daily Kansan column he writes.


Bethany Christiansen, an Emporia junior majoring in English and creative writing, is completing a research project that blends James Joyce’s “Ulysses” with Dante’s “Inferno” in comic-book form. She plans to study literature at Cambridge University in England this summer. She is a Watkins-Berger Scholar as well as a Hall Center Scholar.


In her third year in law school, Megan McGinnis of Kansas City, Kan., is an intern at the Douglas County district attorney’s office and on the staff of the “Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy.” She is president of the Black Law Students Association, which oversees a Thanksgiving food drive donating to several local groups. McGinnis is also a Dean’s Fellow and a member of Law School Ambassadors.


Community service is a deep commitment for Ben Fuentes, a Satanta junior who’s president of the Hispanic American Leadership Organization (HALO) and a member of the Latino Vision Council. Besides Hispanic Heritage Month and Cinco de Mayo activities, he volunteers with Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Law school is the goal for Fuentes, who’s majoring in political science and minoring in Latin American studies.


Erin Lewis of Fort Scott, who’s in the mechanical engineering graduate program, is student manager for an NSF grant program overseen by professors Lisa Friis and Paulette Spencer. They’re developing toolkits for 4th- and 5th-grade Kansas teachers that will encourage girls and minority pupils to pursue engineering careers. Lewis hopes to start a firm to develop instruments for pediatric spinal surgeons.

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